Health and Happiness

I’ve been big on this gut feeling thing lately (I actually just wrote a post on my personal blog about it). Not able to fall asleep this morning at 5:30 this post began writing itself. It was a very Dr. Dyer inspired moment where it just flows (and I don’t necessarily know from where but I know it is the right thing to write today). In an effort to unclutter my mind and not to clutter yours at the onset of the week, I sometimes like a common sense approach to health and overlooked topics. In writing about Eeyores (and the teaching style denying us and our children of play) and my own circumstances/thoughts, we are so driven towards health. We want to be healthy now and we think we have to work work work to get the result. Not treasuring the steps. Exercise is not fun. Eating is so restrictive and unenjoyable. We dread going to the gym. We make ourselves miserable making ourselves miserable running miles at a time. We have to get this weight off now. Now, now, now! We stress now for something that will come later if we stick with it but we give up in frustration before we reach our goal. What we don’t see is that all this stress is not letting us change (it may actually be making us fatter). And it is actually killing us. Think of people affected by tragedy and then they’re diagnosed with cancer. Coincidence? I think not. Initially cortisol may bring a feel-good high (that fight or flight invincible feel), but overtime (just like cocaine and other drugs) it begins to drain us and is not good. Until we’ve overdosed and it wins over. I think of my sister who has Addison’s (doesn’t produce enough cortisol=hardship dealing with stress). All the medications she has to take and the future state of her health that it is taking from her. Life is about balance.

Something I loved about the Primal Blueprint was his exercise, but also the incorporation of play. Here is a reminder of his ten rules:

Primal Blueprint Law #1: Eat Lots of Plants and Animals

Primal Blueprint Law #2: Avoid Poisonous Things

Primal Blueprint Law #3: Move Frequently at a Slow Pace

Primal Blueprint Law #4: Lift Heavy Things

Primal Blueprint Law #5: Sprint Once in a While

Primal Blueprint Law #6: Get Adequate Sleep

Primal Blueprint Law #7: Play

Primal Blueprint Law #8: Get Adequate Sunlight

Primal Blueprint Law #9: Avoid Stupid Mistakes

Primal Blueprint Law #10: Use Your Brain

Here are some of the benefits of play that I’ve covered before:

Intensely pleasurable

  • Energizing
  • Enlivens us
  • Eases our burdens (distresses us)
  • Renews our natural sense of optimism
  • Opens us up to new possibilities
  • Actually correlates to more productivity
  • Freedom from time
  • Diminished consciousness of self (when we’re playing we don’t care what we look like or what others are thinking).
  • Correlates to development of the frontal cortex (cognitions: discriminating relevant from irrelevant, monitoring and organizing thoughts, feelings and planning for the future)
  • Period of max play tied to rate and size cerebellum (cognitive functions: attention, language processing, sensing musical rhythm and more)
  • Promote creation
  • New connections neurons
  • Play throughout life has been shown individuals are less prone to dementia and heart disease
  • A study onOkinawa’s (some of the longest living people in the world), showed that play was just as key to their longevity as diet and exercise

So hiking is like playing for me (plus slow aerobic exercise, remember we don’t want to fall victim to chronic cardio and too much exercise because that requires too much cortisol). In most circumstances I also take the Winnie the Pooh approach: life is fun. I truly enjoy whatever I’m doing. Mindset is key to health. By thinking I love my kettlebells, my strength practice sessions are more enjoyable. I never dread anything. Health is a dynamic and you have to have all the keys in balance. If you’re somber, serious Sally not only is your energy not very attractive to others but its not good for a dynamic health. Laugh, smile, sing, dance, and play. Play is not just for kids and don’t let fears of looking ‘silly’ keep you from being healthy (although why we’re caring what others think is beside me). Yesterday while mindfully walking in the Garden of the Gods, I pass my father on one of the paths, ‘I knew it was you, you’re the only one singing and doing whatever you do.’ This is true, but not just in this instance. I tend to have a little extra in my step: a little step, a little shoulder jiggle, hip wiggle, a snap. Songs are perpetually flowing through my head and I’m not afraid to express them with song and dance anyplace. I’m enjoying life. Practicing balance. Practicing health. Like I said if you’re bogged down with research and studies, you’ll constantly feel like you’re not doing something right. Striving but never reaching anything, as you hang your head in frustration. Pick and choose your battles, but whatever you do take a more laid back approach and enjoy life (because it’s short and temporary, you don’t want to spend it running in circles). Making sure to take care of my outer shell, but not stressing about it. So as the work we starts, think of all the ways this week is going to be fun as you work peacefully with your body and not battling it. Happy Monday!

This entry was posted in Body/Spiritual, Diet, Exercise, Longevity, Stress and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Health and Happiness

  1. Jeanine and Tom says:

    Boy, I think your head is clearer than ever! Lovin’ your posts! You look super and so do your cupcakes! With a happy heart, Jeanine

    • bodychangetrainers says:

      Thanks Jeanine (and Tom I’m sure) I think these mountains have helped put things in perspective. Plus me and dad have both been inspiring each other so we can make each other better and then I in turn can share and help all my Terre Haute people

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